The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 17, 2013

A bit about Facebook safety awareness

NORMAN — I am often asked, “Is Facebook safe?” Facebook, the most popular social networking website in the world, long ago knocked rival MySpace off the No. 1 perch and now boasts more members than the entire population of the United States. Just like the U.S. population, it can be both safe and dangerous at the same time.

Asking if Facebook is safe is a bit like asking if your car is safe; well, yes and no. While it’s resting in your driveway, your car is probably safe, although cars have been known to spontaneously combust. Even so, it is when you start driving your car that safety usually becomes an issue. How well can you drive Facebook? Do you know where the brakes are? If there’s a storm, do you know how to turn on the wipers? If parking in an unsafe area, do you know how to turn on the car alarm?

In its simplest form, Facebook is pretty safe. You put up your Facebook page, decorate it with some photographs, post a few things about yourself and start “networking” with your friends. You get to chat, send email back and forth and do other interesting things. It’s good, harmless, wholesome fun.

Things get a little dicey, though, when you start using Facebook “apps.” Apps (short for applications), are little programs that you can install to work with Facebook to do cute things like send virtual (imaginary) gifts to your friends, like flowers, hearts or even mixed drinks. Some apps allow you to play games while others let you search for news stories or videos. There are thousands of different apps written by thousands of different programmers.

Sadly, not all apps or apps programmers are nice. Anyone can write a Facebook app and Facebook administrators are hard-pressed to test them all for safety. Some apps are merely computer viruses in disguise, waiting to wreck your computer. Other apps contain nasty spyware designed to commit identity theft. There is lots of spam email on Facebook, too, directing readers to porn sites or infecting them with viruses, as well. Use a simple Google search to research apps before installing them and you’ll probably be OK; that’s what I do.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Baker home 3 Moore resident lands in new home 14 months after tornado

    She crawled from the rubble of what used to be her home. The neighborhood was destroyed. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2013, and Jamie Baker was homeless....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Additional details come to light in Campus Corner incident involving Sooner recruit

    The 911 call from Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning brought forth more details from the incident that has Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon under investigation for an alleged assault....

    July 30, 2014

  • Police rule out homicide in Norman woman’s death

    Norman Police Capt. Todd Gibson said Tuesday they have eliminated the theory of homicide after a Norman woman was found dead in her home Monday afternoon. “We’re moving in a different direction with the investigation,” Gibson said. “It’s ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate approves new VA secretary

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it to House

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 8:20 a.m. larceny report, 2000 block of West Lindsey Street · 9:04 a.m. stolen vehicle, 3400 block of Bart Conner Drive · 9:11 a.m. larceny report, 1200 block of Ed ...

    July 30, 2014